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The Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises (ABADE) Program works principally with the private sector to strengthen the productivity of enterprises for sustained growth and job creation. ABADE’s objectives are to increase domestic and foreign investment, stimulate employment and improve sales of Afghan products. It is designed to complement other USAID programs focused on improving the business enabling environment, workforce development, and access to finance. ABADE’s alliances with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can accelerate productivity and job creation by mitigating risk, and by leveraging small, catalytic capital with much larger contributions from private companies. ABADE is a four year project which began in October 2012.

ABADE Approach

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a key economic driver of Afghanistan’s development. They constitute approximately 75% of the labor force and generate over 50% of GDP. However, Afghan-produced goods meet only a fraction of local demand, and export trade is lackluster at best. Afghan business owners struggle to obtain the capital, management advice, equipment, and technologies they need to grow their businesses. Women and youth can make significant contributions to the labor force but have limited opportunities for economic participation, whether because of lack of skills or limited employment opportunities. ABADE is designed to significantly improve the lives of people in Afghanistan by helping SMEs to grow their businesses.

ABADE assists SMEs with better planning, appropriate equipment and technologies, better management skills and business specific skills, innovative-supporting alliances, and by facilitating a business environment conducive to SME growth.

ABADE focuses particularly on activities that foster business innovation, expand the role of women and youth in business, promote pro-poor growth, and increase value-added productivity in strategic industries.